How to Treat the ‘Wounds to the Soul’

A Therapist Assembles an Emotional Toolbox to Help Us Grapple With Collective Trauma

he subterranean strata of U.S. wrongdoing run deep—the genocide of Native Americans, the long history of slavery and racism, the effects of xenophobia, the illegal wars of aggression around the world. Today we are faced with the question: As a society, how will we remember and respond to these many past wrongs?

Approaches that take into consideration participants’ histories—along with their experiences of physical and mental trauma, and moral injury—seem to pay off.

For the past 25 years, I have worked as a researcher and practitioner in the field of large-scale psychosocial …

The Birth of Wheelchair Basketball | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Birth of Wheelchair Basketball

World War II Veterans Popularized the Sport—And Changed the Game for the Disability Rights Movement

On an unremarkable Wednesday evening in the spring of 1948, 15,561 spectators flocked to New York’s Madison Square Garden to watch two teams of World War II veterans play an …

Portraits of Loyalty

Shane Sato Depicts Japanese-American Veterans Who Fought for the Country That Imprisoned Their Friends and Families

Growing up as a Japanese American in a Los Angeles suburb, Shane Sato says, he felt “safe and comfortable” and had little, if any, experience with racism or prejudice. Only …

The Epic Bar Fight That Sums Up the Problem with Memorial Day

A Depression-Era Story of Mourning, Motherhood, and Grandiosity

On Memorial Day, 1930, Mrs. Mathilda Burling of New York stood before the headstone of her son, Private George B. Burling, Jr. at grave 17, row 29, at the St. …

I Never Dreamed I Would End up Homeless

Isolated, Anxious, and Distrustful, I Fell Out of Sync With Society

In my training to go fight in Vietnam, we lived and breathed these mottos: “Once a Marine, always a Marine” and “Marines never quit.”

Intensive therapy at the Veterans Affairs …